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The Breaking of the Bat - The 9.8 SS Knightfall set!

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This was, in my comic collecting life, the very last "multi-part series within a series" in Batman that I ever bought new. Comics had gone up to $1.25, and it was getting very spendy (hey...it was 1993!) I had gotten a bit burned out with comics after Death of Superman several months sooner, and I was wondering if I should keep buying new stuff.

I actually missed the first few parts, so I had to get #488-494? #495? as "back" (still on the shelves) issues, but I got back on the train with #494, #495 or #496. I think the last new issue I bought before that was in the early 480s. I remember buying #478 for sure (the creepy diptych of #477 and #478 stuck with me), but things get a bit fuzzy after that.

Anyway...suffice it to say, Knightfall had kicked off, and was quite the rage in the comics world. And, of course, the story had actually started with Vengeance of Bane several months earlier, which I DID buy new, and which I thought was pretty clever...being a continuation, of sorts, of the "Venom" storyline from LOTDK #16-20 a couple years earlier. I also picked up Sword of Azrael (see? It was getting very expensive!) which was also a lead-in to Knightfall. #488-#491, of course, are the unofficial "Knightfall prelude" (along with 'Tec #657-658), so of course, I had to get all of those, too.

What greeted me when I came back, however, was the very cool (to my young adult mind) Kelley Jones art. And, of course, the Sam Kieth covers on 'Tec certainly didn't hurt. For some odd reason, I was still buying 'Tec. Anyhoo...so, now, after all these years, I've managed to put *most* (would have been all, but CGC is hammering things at the moment...yes, I DID submit multiple copies of the missing books) of the run together in SS 9.8. Again, another set that I wish I started 10 years ago, but didn't have the money to do, because I would have certainly gotten Norm, and now...well, it's too late. Sigh. At some point, I hope to track Travis down and get him to sign my #488-490. I was glad that Kelley has started to do more cons, because he's always been a hard one to track down. He only does "West Coast" cons, so when he showed up at Wondercon last year...I knew I had to strike! Then, in November, he was in Vegas, and I knew I had another opportunity, so a huge thanks to Sam and Kelley for showing up and signing this past year.

Anyways, without further ado, my Knightfall set so far...WITH later printings!



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Couple of things worth pointing out:

1. Isn't that Croc sketch by Balent just amazing on Tec #660...? Just amazing. Someday, I'd like to get someone to ink it...maybe Hanna.

2. I'm so very, very thankful that comic collecting had matured by that point, because if people were still collecting comics in the 90s the way they were in the 60s, there wouldn't be a single copy above 9.0, with all those dark covers AND back cover ads.

3. Tec #666 is a tough book, but I managed to get at least one copy in 9.8...and none of the others (#661, 663-665.) Go figure.

Edited by RockMyAmadeus

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Dude, I used to have 663 and 665 in SS 9.8!  Would've set you up if I still had them.  Also envious of #666, been looking for a 9.8 copy myself for quite a while.

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I HAVE #663 and #665 in SS 9.8...it's just that the grader at CGC didn't agree. They'll have to go back in, whether through review (which I'm hoping, but not too hopeful for), or straight resub (which annoys me to no end, for obvious reasons.)

As for the #666...yeah, it's a...er..."beast" in 9.8. It was shoddily made, and the heavy ink on the cover made it very susceptible to cracking, leading to color breaking spine stress and "bigger than average" splitting along the spine, revealing more white than 9.8 can tolerate. I think I went through 15 copies (don't ask me why I have 15 copies) and managed to find just TWO candidates...and one got 9.8, the other 9.6. For some books, the ink simply isn't as pliant, and can't bounce back from a bend...some books, the ink won't crack and flake, but for many books, there's just so much it can take, and the heavier the application, as with this book, the more prone to color breaks.

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It’s fun to see some of the 3rd printings as well. I would have considered myself somewhat of an expert on this run but every time I do something I’ve never seen “pops” up!

I am huge “Kelley Jones” fan.

Edited by Vfactor1

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I don't even have half of the possible 9.8 issues. For fun, the entire set goes like this:

Batman #488



#490 2nd


#491 2nd

#491 3rd


#492 2nd

#492 3rd

#492 Platinum


#493 2nd





#497 2nd

#497 2rd




#500 2nd (which is really hilarious, considering how many they printed of both versions of the 1st)

Detective Comics #657


#658 2nd


#659 2nd

#659 3rd


#660 2nd

#660 3rd (funny, there's no corresponding 3rd for #493)





#664 2nd (also an oddball)




Plus, if you REALLY want to get technical, Vengeance of Bane #1 and Sword of Azrael #1-4. And all the above have newsstand versions, too, if you REALLY wanted to get insane.

Did I miss any?

I have almost all of these SSd, but many of the did not end up in a 9.8 label for now. We'll see.


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Well for fun why don’t you just go ahead and list KnightQuest & KnightsEnd while you’re at it!



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19 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:


Did I miss any?


Well, I guess you could list the polybagged version of 500 separately...

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3 minutes ago, Vfactor1 said:

Well, I guess you could list the polybagged version of 500 separately...

There's no functional difference between the actual comic inside, and they look the same in a slab, because the polybag can't be slabbed. I count that not as a variant, but a marketing tool...if there's some printed difference I've missed, let me know, but I'm pretty sure there's not.

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I understand. Was never sure if that book was at all different. Thanks for clearing that up.

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